Arts community joins campaign to promote early voting for 2020 election

Vote Early graphic on black background

TPAC and more than 30 arts organizations are joining the larger, nonpartisan VoteEarlyTN campaign to promote early voting leading up to the November election.

Led by Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) and involving a variety of local organizations, celebrities, sports teams, restaurants, elected officials, and more, the initiative launching August 19 will promote early voting between October 14-29 to limit COVID-19 health risks and in diffuse potential Election Day difficulties.

Participating organizations and communities will “adopt” one of the 14 days of early voting and share ways their community can get involved.

“Early voting is one of the most critical tools we’ll have in November,” Rep. Jim Cooper said. “It makes it possible for eligible voters to safely participate in our democracy and limit COVID-19 health risks. By launching VoteEarlyTN, we are hoping participants will also make voting a celebratory event for all.”

Jason Isbell, Ashley Judd, Lucinda Williams, The Equity Alliance, and more join VoteEarlyTN initiative

In addition to the performing arts community, dozens of Nashville-based entities and groups have already signed on as participants. Celebrities like Jason Isbell, Ashley Judd, and Lucinda Williams, beloved local institutions like Grimey’s, Third Man Records, Oh Boy Records, voter advocacy groups like The Equity Alliance, community organizations like Conexión Américas and Hands On Nashville, labor organizations like the Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle TN and SEIU Local 205, and more are participating.

“The institution of voting, in and of itself, is the foundation of a democratic society,” says three-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams in a release on Wednesday.  “So many have sacrificed in order for every creed and color to have the right to vote. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for each and every one of us to use that voice – the voice earned by the blood, sweat, and tears of our forebears this November. We must speak now, and we must speak loud. We must VOTE!”

The initiative is open to groups big or small, and anyone wishing to “adopt” a day may do so by signing up at the website.

“Early voting is powerful because it gives the voter more options,” says Tori Griffin, Organizing Director for The Equity Alliance. “I can vote on a Wednesday afternoon on my lunch break or on a Saturday after having brunch with friends. The lines aren’t long, and now because of COVID-19, voting early is the best way to make your voice heard safely.”

VoteEarlyTN is intended to reduce danger at the polls and avoid long lines and chaos on Election Day. With concerns about social distancing and voting machine sanitation, plus a decrease in poll workers due to COVID-19 causing delays and staffing shortages, taking advantage of early voting is more important than ever before.

The VoteEarlyTN website will also be kept up to date with everything voters need to know about casting their ballot in November, including registration deadlines, absentee voting rules, and more, with the goal to be creating a one-stop shop for Tennessee voters to stay up to speed on the process. Visit the website for more information about VoteEarlyTN.

A list of inaugural VoteEarlyTN participants from the performing arts community is below:

Act Like a GRRRL
Actors Bridge Ensemble
Actors Equity Association – Nashville
Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville
The Country Music Hall of Fame
The Barbershop Theater
The Destiny Theatre Experience
Found Movement Group
Global Education Center
Intersection
Inversion Vocal Ensemble
Kindling Arts Festival
Metro Nashville Arts Commission
Metro Parks Dance Division
Nashville Ballet
Nashville Children’s Theatre
Nashville Opera
Nashville Repertory Theatre
Nashville Shakespeare Festival
Nashville Story Garden
Nashville Symphony
New Dialect
Numinous Flux
The Porch Writers’ Collective
OZ Arts Nashville
The Quest Center for Art & Community Development
Razorglam Productions
shackled feet DANCE
SistaStyle Productions
Studio Tenn
Tennessee Performing Arts Center
Vanderbilt Theatre
Verge Theater Company
Woven Theatre Company
YEAH! (Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities, Inc.)

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